Getting Dirty: Reconnecting with Soil, Seed and Soul

John William Waterhouse- Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Since I have a few goals for this lunar cycle, which are small and particular, I decided I would get started on a few tasks which would lead to the realisation of these goals…

I am finally reading the book Magical Gardens: Cultivating Soil and Spirit by the late Patricia Monaghan which I got ages ago but never got around to reading.

I am enjoying this book so far and I find Monaghan’s writing to be absolutely enveloping. She writes about the myths surrounding planting and nourishment and includes a number of exercises for the gardener to do in order to become more soulful.

Soulful living is one of my goals, and as Gardening puts one in direct contact with the Earth, with the soil and the Chthonic energies of the underworld, I thought that Gardening would be one of my major projects for this lunar cycle.

I remember days as a child playing in the compost heap on my Ouma’s plot, no care in the world for all the decaying matter and mud. I had fun digging in the compost and the other topsoil that was laid in heaps by the big tree – which once had a little green snake in it.

As a child I would often dip my fingers in my mothers pot plants and taste the dirt and the soil tasted oh-so-good. I was a child who loved to play in the dirt, I never had a fear of getting dirty. Of course as a little girl I was criticized by various adults for getting myself so dirty. I was criticized by my peers too. I was very un-lady like- I was loud, filthy and very Earthy.

Somewhere along the way I lost my connection to the soil, to my earthiness and it is high time that I get it back. There are a few projects I would like to get going. I would love to start composting. I would love to get back into learning the spiritual and medicinal properties of plants, and I would love to bring the soul back into my gardening.

My first project was to re-pot some of my more needy plants, ones that have not been re-potted in two years, and ones that had outgrown their pots- these include my white Agapanthus, a succulent, a hyacinth and my black grass. I also decided to plant some poppy seeds for Anubis.

I decided to do this all on Noumenia, to welcome in new energies and to rebirth and rekindle some of the magic of the energy that was already present.

I did much of the re-potting indoors at Midnight and madea whole lot of mess. Surrounding myself with soil and dirt, I was able to confront some of my own messy emotions. There is nothing vile and nasty about the soil, it is merely an obsession of a culture so disconnected from the land and the earth that makes it seem so nasty and wrong.

As a Pagan, and a Gardening Witch I should not feel so disconnected from my garden, from the soil, from the earth, and this was my first step into that re-connection.

It was a very enjoyable process. At first I felt a bit weird, a bit silly and a bit dirty, but as I rubbed the soil in my hands shoveling it on to the roots of plants in their new homes, I became absorbed in the beauty of what I was doing. I was reconnecting with friends, with plant spirits that I had been a bit neglectful of, and was feeling the joy and pleasure of the physical task.

Getting myself all dirty and muddy was a wonderful way in which to re-root myself. After all this is where my soul has always been nourished, in the plants, in the garden and in the soil.

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2 thoughts on “Getting Dirty: Reconnecting with Soil, Seed and Soul

  1. I too have found myself at this crossroads, where I need to stick my fingers back in the dirt and feel it. I consider myself a green witch but my garden says ‘really?’. It’s love and cool here in South Aust in my region today, so I think reading this has inspired me to get off my butt and go outside.

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